October 9, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 39


MPI Policy Brief: Improving Immigrant, Refugee Family Home Visiting Enrollment

A new policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy examines innovative state and local approaches to home visiting. The brief presents case studies from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington. The four jurisdictions studied focused on improving the inclusion of immigrant families in home visiting programs and improving their responsiveness to immigrant and refugee needs.

MPI’s recommendations for policymakers and service providers include:

  • Ensuring at-risk immigrant families are meaningfully incorporated into state needs assessments and prioritized for home visiting services alongside other at-risk families
  • Supporting linguistically and culturally responsive models that can effectively meet the needs of diverse communities
  • Locating home visiting programs within community-based organizations already effectively serving foreign-born populations, such as refugee resettlement agencies
  • Designing procurement policies and processes to ensure access for programs deeply rooted in local communities and to facilitate growth of the research base on models effective in meeting the needs of immigrant families


2020 State of Preschool Survey: Exclusive Tips for State Specialists

NIEER’s Yearbook staff is hosting a webinar to introduce state specialists to the 2020 State of Preschool Yearbook survey, Tuesday, October 13 at 11 AM ET.

State specialists will learn how to use the survey platform and get tips for completing the survey. Yearbook staff will also answer your 2020 survey questions.

Space is limited and registration restricted to state specialists working on the 2020 Yearbook survey. State specialists are encouraged to register in advance.


When Beliefs Matter Most: Examining Children’s Math Achievement in the Context of Parental Math Anxiety

How does parental belief about the importance of math and parental math anxiety relate to preschool-aged children’s math achievement?

University of Pittsburgh researchers Alex M. Silver, Leanne Elliott, and Melissa E. Libertus found “math importance beliefs significantly predicted children’s math performance above and beyond other predictors.” While “math anxiety was not directly related to children’s math abilities,” they found it “amplified the effects of math beliefs”.

How Conceptual PlayWorlds in Preschool Settings Create New Conditions for Children’s Development during Group Time

Does Conceptual PlayWorlds create developmental conditions for children during group time? Author Marilyn Fleer of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia reports “Conceptual PlayWorld created unique psychological conditions for children at group time which positively contributed to their development.”

Sleep, Screen Time and Behaviour Problems in Preschool Children: An Actigraphy Study

“The combination of increased screen exposure and decreased sleep duration may be particularly adverse for child mental health,” suggest researchers in European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Examining sleep, screen time, and behavior problems in preschool, the researchers from Tel-Aviv University, Flinders University, Rambam Medical Center, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found “the link between screen time and behaviour problems was moderated by sleep duration,” which “also moderated the relation between screen time and externalizing—but not internalizing—problems.”

Developing Health Lifestyle Pathways and Social Inequalities across Early Childhood

Stefanie Mollborn, Elizabeth Lawrence, and Patrick M. Krueger documented “children’s longitudinal health lifestyle pathways, articulated and tested a theoretical framework of health lifestyle development in early life, and assessed associations with kindergarten cognition, socioemotional behavior, and health.”

They found “children’s health lifestyle pathways were complex, combining healthier and unhealthier behaviors and changing with age.” They suggest “family context is important for the development of complex health lifestyle pathways across early childhood, which have implications for school preparedness and thus for social inequalities and well-being throughout life.”

Presenting their findings in Population Research and Policy Review, the researchers from University of Colorado Boulder, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and University of Colorado Denver believe their study has four implications for policy:

  1. Because of the discordance in health lifestyles, children identified as healthy based on a single health behavior measure may be struggling in other domains.
  2. Because longitudinal examinations of health lifestyles reveal important patterns that would be missed even with repeated cross-sectional analysis, identification of children for policy intervention should rely on a longitudinal view rather than on a snapshot of children’s health behaviors.
  3. Health lifestyles are a distinct phenomenon with developmental implications, so focusing on group-level identities to intervene in overarching lifestyles rather than specific behaviors may be a promising route to behavioral change.
  4. Intervening in early childhood may be particularly important for shaping health lifestyles throughout life and into subsequent generations.

Preschool Executive Control Predicts Social Information Processing In Early Elementary School

Can executive control in preschool children predict their social competence in early elementary school?

Anna Johnson, Cara C. Tomaso, Timothy D. Nelson, Jennifer Mize Nelson, and Tiffany James from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kimberly Andrews Espy from University of Texas at San Antonio studied more than 300 children who completed “9 rigorous, developmentally appropriate executive control tasks at age 5 years, 3 months” and later measured their SIP in first grade.

Reporting on their research in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, they found “preschool executive control was predictive of two steps of SIP” and suggest “poor executive control in early childhood may be an important risk factor for deficits in specific SIP steps.” The authors point “to executive control as a potential target for intervention to prevent the development of later social problems.”


Vice President, Content Research and Evaluation, Sesame Workshop

P4 Senior Education Officer, UNHCR

P3 Education Officer, UNHCR

Research Associate, Child and Family Development, James Bell Associates

Research Assistant, Child and Family Development, James Bell Associates


Zero to Five: Building Connections for Lifelong Impact, October 15 at 3 PM ET, hosted by the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) and the first of a continuing series of behavioral health convenings hosted by the Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health at GHPC.